This is it, our final visit to the world of Onslaught- at least until we return at some point in the future to look at Legions. I’ve got one of the more unique and intriguing Theme Deck’s we’ve seen in awhile, Bait & Switch, while Sam hopes to dash my hopes with the Beasts of Devastation. Will subtlety and synergy take the day, or will brute force see me off?
“How did planeswalkers come to be if they weren’t planned?” wrote Mark Rosewater in a piece announcing the new card type leading up to the release of Lorwyn. “The way that many cool creative things come to be: by happy accident.” Originally, planeswalkers weren’t meant to be included in Lorwyn, but they were a confluence of two independent pressures. As it happens, they came together at the right time and place, and from that meeting the planeswalker was born.
We’re back to Onslaught, and ready to go with the second half of the set’s review. I’ve sleeved up Ivory Doom, a White/Black tribal Cleric deck (and the object of our most recent giveaway), while Jimi’s ready with Celestial Assault. Clerics against Gustcloaks…who will have the edge?
When Magic: the Gathering launched in 1993, nobody could have known that the game would become what it is today, nearly two decades later. It is a testament to Richard Garfield’s vision that the game has endured in a state of static flux- something of a contradiction, to be fair. But how else could you cataegorise the fact that while the core essentials of the game have more or less remained unchanged, it is a game itself of constant change?
Some contests- like our Gathering Magic/Return to Ravnica Meddling cycle require a little bit of patience to win, since we’re not picking a winner until all five decks have had their turn at center stage. Others, however, are much quicker! We’re pleased to announce another comment contest giveaway for a new, sealed copy of Onslaught’s Ivory Doom, a Black/White Cleric tribal deck.
We’re ready for our next look at the world of Onslaught through its Theme Decks. Up today is the White/Blue Celestial Assault, which takes advantage of the Gustcloak mechanic to preserve creatures where they’re most vulnerable-in combat. Sam’s ready to put the deck to the test, and has the tribal set’s version of the joker in the deck: Bait & Switch.
Famed Australian entertainer Peter Allen, who passed away in 1992 and had his life immortalised in a Tony-award winning musical The Boy from Oz (played by Hugh Jackman), has very little to do with Magic: the Gathering on first blush- or, for that matter, on any number of subsequent blushes. But of you were looking for a theme to describe the state of modern design you could well do worse than to lift a title from one of his best-known songs: Everything Old is New Again.
It’s the first game in our review series for Onslaught, and Jimi joins me at the table for the opening clash. In my corner are the Elves and Beasts of Devastation. In hers? The Black and White Clerics of Ivory Doom. Only one of our two decks will live up to its name this evening- which shall it be?
When looking at the scope and history of Magic: the Gathering sets, we tend to distill them down to their core essences. This is frequently summed up as the phrase “X matters,” where X is a card type. Zendikar, for instance, was “land matters,” while Scars of Mirrodin obviously was “artifacts matter.” Given the structure of the game, though, the one card type you seldom see inserted in this construction is “creatures matter.” The reason for this is obvious- in Magic, creatures always matter. In actual fact, however, there are sets that fall into the “creatures matter” classification, though given the default prominence creatures hold in the game it’s taken one level further. It’s not so much that creatures matter, so much as creature types matter. These are called “tribal” sets.